You can’t spend any amount of time with Lawrence without it affecting you in some way. He is by far one of the most optimistic and positive people I’ve ever met. What we can all learn from Lawrence goes way beyond his almost endless supply of construction knowledge. Here’s a few lessons from yesterday.
1. Always look on the bright side. (Don’t go all Monty Python on me here.) But seriously, this guy never seems to get rattled by anything. If they could bottle whatever it is he has, no one would need Prozac, Xanax or any number of other anti-depressants. You just can’t get this guy down. When he called me accidentally Tuesday, one of the closing comments between us was me saying that I hoped we had a better day to work on Wednesday than today. (The first half of Tuesday was riddled with thundershowers.) Lawrence’s response: “Well, that just made the ground that much easier for us to dig into.”
2. Don’t slow down – for long. Lawrence isn’t big on breaks. Me, after 90 minutes in the sun, I’ve got to have some water and a sit-down in the shade. He acquiesced a little yesterday, but not much. In part, it was because his hand was hurting, though he wouldn’t admit it. And I couldn’t get him to quit. He is right though about stopping. If you take too long a break, it’s much too hard to get started again. Quoth Lawrence: “You can think of a thousand different reasons why you just don’t need to do it today.”
3. Measure thrice. Dig once. This is a twist on the old rule of cutting as it applies to fence post digging.
4. Just keep going. At 70, Lawrence is in awesome shape. He’s not a big guy. No bulging pecs or six-pack abs. But I would put him up against the average 40-year-old workman any day and bet that at the end of the day, Lawrence is the one still going.
5. Post-hole diggers need a new shape. Had to share this because it’s one of those observations by Lawrence that I think characterizes how he thinks. “You can’t put a six-inch square in a five-inch round.” Essentially, trying to put in one of today’s larger-sized vinyl fence posts into a hole dug with a standard post-hole digger is just that.
I’ve only known Lawrence a little over a year, but I have to say I think I’m a better person for it. And I know my house is a better place because of it.